A/N: I'm back! Sadly my laptop ate itself, and I had not done back up copies of this story, and no longer allows copy/pasting, so… yeah .

Anywho, here's the next chapter! Sorry its so short.

WARNING! Brief, brief, mention of bestiality by (guess who…). Don't want to read, skip the first couple of paragraphs at ''the meeting''.

Chapter Nine

"The Empress has requested your presence. Seven PM. Be there."

Click. Silence.

Dyson slowly turned around. Bo was retelling the tale of how her and Kenzi had first been introduced to the Fae world. Kenzi was half listening, the other half dancing around the room with her eyes, but she would smile once in a while, partial recognition flitting in and out of her eyes, of Bo, if not the memories.

Lauren glanced up and saw his face, her hands pausing in their movement of wrapping black Vetwrap around Kenzi's wrist; she told him once that she found Vetwrap lasted longer than its human medical counterpart. Bo, catching sight of her girlfriend's face, stopped her story to turn and look at him; Kenzi froze at the sudden movement. Noticing, she placed a gentle hand on her friend's shoulder. "Dyson, what's wrong?"

The shifter sighed. "The Empress has summoned me. I cannot refuse, not without endangering myself and Kenzi."

"She's probably heard that you're now in possession of Kenzi," Lauren said. Bo turned to glare at her. "It's how she would see it, Bo." She looked up at Dyson. "You can't leave her alone. I'd stay, but I'm already going to have to spend at least two hours in the shower scrubbing just to get her scent off of me, not to mention wearing gods-awful strong perfume to cover up anything that remains." She looked over at the Succubus. "I know we had dinner plans, but I think you should stay here with her."

"I agree," Dyson said as he came level with them. He met the doctor's eyes briefly before meeting Bo's eyes. "Please stay with Kenzi, Bo. Lauren's right, I don't want her left alone. For her safety. I don't want another incident like the Dal, or Hale's place."

Bo nodded. "Yeah, sure. I don't mind." She sat back down next to Kenzi, who was still sitting frozen on the bed, eyes trained on the floor. "Kenzi?" she said softly.

When she didn't respond, Dyson crouched down in front of Kenzi. "Hey, Kenzi. Snap out of it." He placed a hand on her knee. She jumped, her whole body going rigid as her eyes slowly looked up to his. The shifter smiled. "Hey, you."

Uncertainly, Kenzi smiled back. "Hey," she replied, her voice scratchy from disuse.
"Bo is going to stay with you for a couple of hours. I have to go to a meeting." Dyson told her firmly, purposefully neglecting to tell her with whom. "She will take care of you, and you will listen to her. No running off, not hurting yourself or her." Gently he reached up and cupped her cheek. Without looking over at the Succubus, he added, "And she will be nice and patient with you, and won't hurt you. But if someone not bearing a pass-code from me, feel free to hurt them as much as needed to protect yourselves."

Bo, at first looking hurt at his orders to not hurt Kenzi – like she would ever do that! – stopped the words before they left her mouth. His eyes were not on her, but on Kenzi. He was only trying to reassure Kenzi, their precious human, that she wouldn't hurt her. Lauren and Dyson might think her oblivious a lot of the time, but she had seen the fear and uncertainty in Kenzi's face and eyes, and how she held her body stiffly, as if waiting for one or more of her friends to attack her and… she didn't even want to go where that thought led. She knew, knew, what her Kenzi had been… trained, to do, and everything else. She wanted to make sure it never happened to her again, and gods help anyone who tried.

OoOoOoO

The remains of the pizza rested in their box like a casket. Lauren had already left, and Dyson was getting ready to leave. Kenzi sat rigidly in her seat, half a pizza slice sitting in front of her. Bo glanced at her and then at Dyson. "What's this meeting all about? Kenzi?"

The shifter slid a shirt over his head before answering. "Most likely. Just keep her here, and keep her safe. Don't answer the door unless it's me, or they have the passphrase from me." He nodded to the bag she had brought in before Lauren had left with their car; a sword handle stuck out one end. "Do whatever you have to do. If you need to run, run. If you need to fight, fight. Kill, kill. Keep yourself and Kenzi safe. Try and get her to shower as well."

Bo nodded. "I'll keep her safe, trust me." Her voice was harder than she meant it to be. She still hadn't forgiven him for not helping her, even though she knew it wasn't his fault. She forced her alter-ego/nature to calm down. There was no current threat to her human. "What's the passphrase?"

"Where you fought your first Fae test. Glass Factory." He smiled softly down at her.

She watched as he touched Kenzi's shoulder, reminding her that he was leaving, would be back, and that she was staying with his friend Bo, who was also her friend. The shifter gently kissed the human's forhead before heading for the door; Bo followed him. "Will…do you think our Kenzi will ever come back?" she asked quietly.

Dyson glanced over her shoulder. "One day, maybe. We just need to be patient."

"Yeah, I know." She smiled. "Be safe, Dyson."

He returned her smile. "You know me, Mr. Safety. Oh before I forget…" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small silver skeleton key with a crystal hanging from it. "Just in case. This is to show you have ownership of Kenzi. To keep her safe from slave hunters," he added hurriedly before she could jump to conclusions and blow up at him. "That's all." He gave her one last smile before closing the door behind him; Bo locked it.

Taking a deep breath, she turned around. Kenzi was kneeling on the floor, hands clasped behind her and head bowed. Swallowing her anger, Bo gently took the human's elbow and helped her to her feet. "None of that," she said cheerfully. "Go take a shower, and I'll clean up."

Kenzi glanced at her, clearly fighting down the impulse to say it was her job to clean up, but the need to obey orders had been deeply ingrained, and Bo seethed at the thought. But seeing even the thought of an argument in her friend's eyes gave the Succubus some solace. In silence, she wrapped plastic wrap around Kenzi's bandaged wrists to keep them dry before sending the human off to the shower. Once she heard the water turn on, she headed to the kitchen. Cleaning up didn't take long; washing three cups and tossing out the paper plates and pizza box was about it. She did notice in the recyclable bin shards of broken glass that looked similar to the glasses she knew Dyson had in his cupboard. A quick check confirmed that the remains were from them. She wasn't sure she wanted to know how so many had been broken at once, but marked them down in her memory as possible weapons.

A scream from the shower made her bolt across the loft. "Kenzi!" she shouted. "Kenzi are you alright?!" She all but tore the shower door off its hinges to get to her friend.

Kenzi, knees skinned from her fall was huddled on the floor of the shower, sobbing in a panic attack, her arms wrapped around her slight frame and nails digging into the opposite shoulder. Tugging at her hands, Bo got her to stop before she drew blood.

Eyes wide and unfocused, Kenzi gasped out, "Bo? Bo where am I? what… what happened… why does it hurt so much?!"

Bo pulled her friend into her arms, a tear running down her own face. "I'm right here, Kenz. I'm so sorry it took me so long to find you. I tried! I tried I promise but I couldn't find you, I couldn't, I couldn't save you…"

Kenzi curled into her friend's chest, oblivious to her lack of clothing. "Oh, Bobo… I knew you'd come. I waited and waited and waited…" She shook, squeezing her eyes tightly shut. "I tried. I tried to stay strong, for you, Bo. I did. But then… he came, and…" she didn't continue.

Bo tightened her arms around her friend. She didn't know who this he was, but he had just jumped to the top of her To Kill list. Placing a kiss on Kenzi's temple, she reached up and turned off the water before snagging the thick towel and wrapping it around Kenzi's slim shoulders. She tried to ignore the bones protruding from her friend's back; from all over her body. She tried to ignore how light the human was as she carried her over to the bed and covering her with blankets in an effort to stop the shaking though she didn't seem cold. Bo knew she couldn't call Lauren and ask what to do, not without risking them all with the Empress. Not knowing what else to do, she laid down next to her friend, pulling her against her and held her. Even after she had passed out, Kenzi continued to shake until eventually she fell into a deeper sleep. But even then, Bo still held her.

OoOoOoO

Dyson growled inwardly, toying with his mostly empty wineglass. He didn't need to be here for this meeting, the first of several to plan yet another ball for a noble who had pleased her. He had people within his command who could have attended in his place. The Empress must want something, he concluded as he set the glass down. But what that something was he had no idea.

"I hear Hale has left his pretty little toy with you to enjoy while he visits his family," The Empress said suddenly, a single thin eyebrow arched suggestively at him. "Are you enjoying her to your fullest? You could take her any way that you wanted." She added, much to the amusement of most who were seated at the table.

Dyson took another sip of wine to give himself a moment to calm down after the suggestion that he – no. He didn't even want to think of the idea of sleeping with Kenzi, let alone taking her in his other form. He knew some shifters enjoyed that; he wasn't one of them.

Setting the glass back down, he met her gaze evenly. "That isn't my thing, Empress. I much prefer being in this form. So many more options this way."

The Empress laughed, as he had meant her to. Nothing else was said on the matter, and the meeting continued on without incident, other than Dyson fighting to stay awake as it dragged on into its third hour. Eventually, the Empress claimed exhaustion and dismissed everyone but Dyson, who remained seated where he was.

After the last Fae had walked out, she locked the door behind them and walked over to the shifter, her hips twitching suggestively. When she saw she didn't fully have his attention, she leaned against the table beside him with one hip, then leaned over onto one elbow, drawing her feet up behind her. Slowly, she walked her fingers up his chest. "You know, you didn't fool me, Dyson," she purred. "You, too have not yet taken that human. She's there to be taken, my fine young wolf. Why not make use of her? She is highly trained in many of the loving arts," she added, her eyes half lidded as she watched him.

He sighed. He had known something like this would happen. "She isn't my type, my Empress. I'm not attracted to her."

"Hmm," the Empress replied. Suddenly she sat upright. "If you say so. Dismissed, Dyson."

Suspicious as to why he was suddenly being released, the shifter slowly got to his feet. Bowing briefly, he left. As he closed the door, he could hear the Empress laughing, the tones following him down the halls as he left.

OoOoOoO

When he finally returned to his loft, Dyson found both women asleep. Bo, on top of the sheets, was curled around Kenzi, was all but swallowed up by the white bedsheets. Taking a step inside and turning to close the door, he tripped over the bag of garbage. Cursing, the shifter stumbled and closed the door, not missing to hiss of metal being drawn out of a sheath. Slowly, he turned around to face Bo, sword in hand, between him and the bed; in the bed, Kenzi's eyes had snapped open, but she hadn't moved.

"Oh, it's you. You scared me!" Bo snapped, sheathing the sword.

"Of course it's me." He took a couple of steps forward. "Who else would it be?"

Bo tossed the now sheathed sword down onto the bed. "Oh, I don't know, any number of Light or Dark Fae that might like to tan your hide, or mine, or come after Kenzi? Isn't that why you left me here with her?"

Dyson held up his hands in surrender. "Gee, sorry I asked, Bo. Sorry."

Bo sighed heavily. "Anyway, how was your meeting? Did – " she broke off, seeing Dyson's slight shake of the head. "Did anyone cause you trouble?"

"Not more than I expected," he replied. Glancing over Bo's shoulder, he gave Kenzi a smile, which she didn't return. "No progress I see," he said softly to Bo.

"What?" Bo glanced over her shoulder at Kenzi, who was now staring at the bedsheets. "Damn it," she muttered. "She remembered me, Dyson. For a little while she remembered me!"

Dyson ran a hand through his hair. "It seems to go in spurts, her remembering or not remembering. It's nothing to get upset about, Bo. It's going to take time."

Bo gave a sigh of her own. "Yeah I know. I just wish it'd hurry up and return already. Her memory I mean."

The shifter smiled. "Same here. And thank you for staying with her for me."

A honking from outside cut off whatever Bo had been about to say. "That must be Lauren," she said distractedly. "Are you sure you'll be alright here with her?"

"Yes, Bo. If we need something we'll call you."

Bo grabbed the sword and bag, stopping briefly to touch Kenzi's shoulder before leaving, the door swinging shut behind her.

Once he had locked the door and turned around, Dyson was hit full force with Kenzi's scent, untainted by the presence of Bo. Clean, sweet yet spicy, sad, and Kenzi. Unbidden and unwanted, pictures of the small human beneath him, around him, touching him,clouded his vision. He stumbled, unsure of he was moving backwards or forwards. "No," he whispered.

On the bed, Kenzi sat up slowly, holding a single sheet up in front of her body, her eyes on him. Again, the visions of him… and her… Dyson snarled, fighting his own body as it responded to the images. "No!" he shouted. Out of the corner of his eyes he could see Kenzi start to get up. He closed his eyes tightly, still attempting to fight his body. This must be what had happened to Hale…

He lost track of time for a moment. When time seemed to settle, and he felt in control of himself and whatever had possessed him to think so about his Kenzi, he opened his eyes.

He was crouched on the bed, and Kenzi was sprawled out beneath him, the sheets around her waist; the edge of a towel barely covered her breasts. His shirt was missing, as was his belt. Kenzi's eyes stared emptily over his shoulder, a single tear dripping down her temple to be absorbed by the pillow. Her scent hit him again, tinging the edges of his vision in red with lust.

"Mine."

End chapter.

Tee hee. Hope you enjoyed! Will try to update soon again, but I now have one part time job, looking for another, working on one of my own stories that I hope to publish one day, trying to get a business going (Check it out on FB! Celtic Wolf Studio!), not to mention soon getting a garden, bee hive, cutting/chopping 12-14 loggers cords of wood to heat the house, and so much more. But I have not abandoned this!